Small coffins are the Heaviest
"Sadly enough, the most painful goodbyes are the ones that are left unsaid and never explained".
I have been in several commemorations of the dead, but in all there had never been pain like that of a child. I want you to imagine going down the streets on a faithful day and you walked past a house where people are crying. As expected, you called to know what was happening and on reaching the place, the news broke that a child had passed away.
The news of a child's death sinks into the soul and weakens the spirit. A few months ago, my mom drove to a friend's house just to say hello after a while. On reaching her friend's compound, she saw her friend in a bad state. Her friend was crying deeply from the inside to the outside. Mom was surprised to see what was happening. It was her last daughter of four years who was so sick and in a terrible Condition. Mom couldn't waste time and conveyed them to the hospital and stayed with them for some time before leaving. As soon as she came back home and was telling my dad about what happened, her phone rang. It was the nurse from the nearby hospital who was calling back for her help. They needed a car to rush the little girl to a higher hospital but mom was far enough for the urgency. She left but before she arrived, another car had volunteered to take the child to hospital. Her sickness got worse and she couldn't make it to the hospital. That day, I wept bitterly for her but what about those she left, her parents, especially her mother who has been crying all day for her. What about her siblings and friends who she played with in the morning. She just was gone forever, leaving the world to mourn her in pain.
Sometimes I wonder why it should be children, there's this saying that "once a child is born, he is old enough to die" that is true because we have life and it is the living that can die. No exceptions at all on who it will be or what time it becomes. But I still question that though. I can say that some are just too young to die, way too young for a child to die.
I remember the first time such happened in my primary school days. On the day of resumption, the headmaster announced that we lost one of our students. I didn't know who was spoken of but I was so amazed to know it was my own classmate. They said he died of food poisoning. So young that I can still remember his face as I type this. Now we are in the university and he would have been at this level of education with us but he's no more. Why should it just be children? 😢 God knows the best!
It never happened to me but to millions out there, it has left an everlasting mark that gets refreshed from time to time. Here in my culture, there are some beliefs about a child's death. This is so uncommon with a low record these days but traditionally, it is believed that a child who dies is either an "ogbanje" Its literal meaning in the Igbo language is "children who come and go". I have never seen one but have heard of many. I really don't know how true it is but what matters is that they should not just die so early.
How incredible is the feeling of having a child. Everyone celebrates the coming of a new born baby with lots of smiles and congratulations. Gifts flow from family and friends, while parents get things ready for the baby. Clothing and toys to play with and lots to provide the baby's comfort. All these with happiness and a clean heart expecting more happiness and joy with the baby as he grows. All of a sudden something begins to happen and the child who has been healthy has become pale in pain. Finds it difficult to eat again and the parents will be grieving slowly. Finally in the hands of a cold death, their child passed away. All dreams they had and the future they planned has been left alone with a big scar. What a life, life is so short but shorter than expected in situations like this. All graves are of the same size but some are too small to be called a grave.
Nobody deserves to die early, not even plants and animals that we have under our watch. Life must be protected because small coffins are the heaviest.
Lead image was taken from pixabay
Even to let our old ones go is not easy talk less of the young ones. May God comfort the child's mother and family. It's just too sad